It seems longer than it has been since our trip to Kyoto. Ryoanji is both stunning and serene, the archetypal Zen rock garden.


Flapjack 911

Get me some maple syrup, STAT!


Surely not...

From: Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

These are synonymous names for nouns that have undergone functional shift to serve as verbs, as in to host a meeting, to chair the committee, and to gift your hostess. There is nothing wrong with this much-used process of functional shift, but occasionally a specific example will meet strong opposition. It is nearly impossible to predict which will pass and which will not, but if enough people persist in their objections, such uses can undergo long or even permanent proscription from Standard use.

Really? Malling?


A Taste of Home?

Imagine my surprise when, upon entering Itaewon's newest bakery, I discovered a display case containing homemade butter tarts with a sign saying they're a treat originally from Turtleford, Saskatchewan. A quick google search uncovered only this: "A butter tart is a type of pastry best known as a Canadian treat... Butter tarts were a staple of pioneer Canadian cooking, and they remain a characteristic pastry of Canada, considered one of only a few recipes of genuinely Canadian origin." Regardless of whether Turtleford can claim them as its own, they are delicious and satisfy this sweet tooth like few other baked goods available in Seoul.


English Lessons

I guess we all use our second language in different ways.



Ideal for running, walking, and watching herons feed, Yangjae Stream is one of our favourite haunts.


It's no Broadway Cafe, but...

the best breakfast in town is served here.And it tastes even better when eaten as a picnic in the pagoda overlooking the East Sea.



Our local newspaper tells us that in the last week, 2.5 million people have gone to Yeouido to see the cherry blossoms.


A Long Hiatus

Well, after nearly four months without an Occasional Observance, I fear our loyal readers may have abandoned us. On the chance you're still out there, however, I decided to post some photos of last weekend. We took the KTX to Busan. Korea's second largest city is renowned for its beaches and cherry trees, both of which are lovely. We also had the opportunity to run on some different terrain than our usual local river path. Here we are in the train station.
Haedong Yongkung Temple, a popular locale to watch the sun rise over the East Sea.
Mountain road with cherry trees.
Yards of seaweed drying on the beach.
The road next to our hotel. The famed Haeundae Beach from a distance.

Noodles hanging in the noodle shop...
and in the bowl.